Town Cat: Fayette's town cat has nine lives and then some 2012.04.18

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

From her desk at the Fayette village office, Dee Potter doesn’t know how many times she’s expected to see a flattened cat lying in Main Street outside her window.

It’s not just any old cat. It’s Jeb that she’s talking about—an orange and white tomcat that claims the west side of the business district as his domain.

With the heavy traffic of U.S. 20 passing through Fayette, Jeb may be pushing his luck when he simply ignores the cars and semis and puts his trust in the kindness of motoring strangers.

So far, he keeps making it through another day.jeb the cat

Lowell Beaverson is the person most familiar with Jeb. The cat belonged to his daughter, the late Jana Beaverson.

“This is the cat that always went to work with her every morning,” Dee said, and then let Lowell take over the tale.

The cat arrived at Jana’s house one day and she took him in. She had him neutered and tried to get him to integrate with her two other cats.

“They didn’t get along all that well,” Lowell said, “and poor Jeb was relegated to the outdoors. But when Jana went to work, Jeb was always there waiting and he went to work with her.”

Jeb became a familiar fixture to customers at Lowell’s insurance agency.

 “After Jana passed away, Jeb became a town cat,” Lowell said.

Don’t ask him where Jeb lives because no one really knows for sure. Lowell has seen him sleeping under Dumpsters and at one time he was sneaking into the upstairs at Beaverson Real Estate.

“He’s got spots all over town,” Dee said.

Jeb makes his rounds downtown every day, Dee said. Gary Ragsdale at the Buckboard Bar and Grille feeds him, Brooke Right at Fayette Floral and Gift feeds him, and maybe others.

“If Brooke has her doors open, he comes in the front and goes on out the back,” Dee said.

The only problem is when Jeb wants to jump up on shelves in the flowershop. That’s going too far.

Jeb also became a pest at Richard Stambaugh’s house on Spring Street after he discovered the cat door for Richard’s own pets, and Jeb tried to make it his home.

Richard heard that it was the insurance agency cat and he brought him back to Lowell, not just once but twice. Jeb seemed to get the message.

Jeb isn’t alone in the world.

“He has a little friend,” Lowell said. “She’s a long-haired dark tortoise shell color. She and Jeb hang out.”

As far as Lowell knows, Gary is the only one who’s allowed to pet her.

She and Jeb have shared some adventures together. They both jumped out the window above Beaverson Realty after Gene inadvertently closed a door they had pushed open.

Lowell wouldn’t be surprised if the two of them curled up together to keep warm over the winter—maybe under the old historic building on the Village Green.

Although Jana is gone, Jeb still waited for Lowell to arrive at the insurance agency every morning at 9 a.m.

“Sometimes he’d spend the whole day there, sometimes he would want to go out in the afternoon. If I gave him some food outside, he would just stare off into the distance until his friend arrived and he’d share it with her.”

After the agency was sold and remodeling got underway, Jeb would walk in, look around and leave again. His favorite chair was gone, as well as his owner.

A lot of people who don’t particularly like cats have taken a shining to Jeb, Lowell said, and many have been amused by his antics and predicaments. Lowell still recalls the day Jeb had a stick of candy stuck to his tail. Removal was handled by Gary.

“I just saw the darndest sight,” someone told Lowell one day. “I was at the bank and there was a cat sitting out in the middle of Fayette Street with traffic going both ways.”

“Was it yellow and white?” Lowell asked. He knew what the answer would be.

“That cat has nine lives and he’s gone through 29,” Dee said.

“Hurry up, cat!” she said later, looking out the window.

Of course it was Jeb slowly making his way across Main Street.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017